How To Get Rid Of The Barriers And Into Intimacy
By Autumn Morris
I keep my bra on during sex. It’s like my safety blanket. If I keep it on, I can thoroughly enjoy this moment without the consequence of feeling completely exposed. It’s just how I’ve always done things. As we discussed last week, nakedness was never my favorite version of myself, and this followed suit. I felt that I had more to lose taking it off than I did leaving it on.
The idea of stripping down and exposing myself completely to someone induced a lot of questions that I didn’t have the answers to. Questions I would never have the answer to until I actually did it. And quite frankly, I had never encountered a partner who I felt I was willing to travel the unknown with. So instead of wondering if he’d be disappointed with what he saw, wondering if he’d still be attracted to me, wondering if he would wish they were bigger, I just chose to keep them protected. Contraception for my self-esteem, if you will. And for me, that was enough.
Until he asked me to take it off.
He didn’t want me to take it off for his sexual pleasure, he wanted me to take it off so that he could “feel me”. Now, all of these questions I had been avoiding my whole life crowded my headspace. Questions I wouldn’t have the answer to until I just did it. This was an expensive gamble. Was I willing to risk it? Is this who I want to risk it with? Sure, he tells me I’m “perfect” the way I am, but do his words hold value? Is my best interest in his heart?
I didn’t take it off.
Too many questions, too much to risk. If it was time, if it was him, I would feel it. And if shit hit the fan, I would be prepared. Right now, I wasn’t.
I feel that condoms and other sexual barriers work the same way. They are a literal safety blanket. I’ve been asked a few times “how do you know when to stop using a condom/barrier with a partner”? Just like my bra story: you never know. Regardless of what anyone says, in a long-term relationship, there comes a time when you don’t want a barrier between you anymore. Sometimes not even for a sensational, superficial reason, but so you can really “feel” your partner.
Taking away a barrier and exposing yourself completely induces a lot of questions and concerns that you won’t know the answer to. What if we get pregnant? What if I get an STD despite my precautions? Is he/she worth compromising my sexual health? Can I trust him/her? Does he/she trust me? Does her/his words hold value? Does he/she have your best interest at heart? These are all valid questions and subjects that should be talked about and analyzed before making any decisions. Not every sexual partner is worth having to endure this level of stress or concern just like not every partner deserved to see me completely naked. You have more to lose removing the barrier than you do leaving it on. If it was time, if it was him/her, you would feel it.
So back to the important question, “how do you know when to stop using a condom/barrier with a partner”?
It’s a gut feeling. It’s the same feeling I got when I finally exposed myself completely to him. I was scared shitless, there was a lot of uncertainties, but I had made my choice. That day I had chosen him as the person that I was willing to face the unknown with. I didn’t know the answers to all of my questions, but if shit hit the fan, I wanted it to be with him. After lots of thought and consideration, I realized I trusted him. I realized he had my best interest at heart. I realized I was willing to take the risk that everything could go totally wrong. I wanted to feel him, and at this point, that outweighed all that could go wrong.
So that is my advice to you. Removing the sexual barrier has its consequences. Pregnancy can be a risk for some and compromised health is ALWAYS a risk. Get tested for STDs together, continue to get tested together, and discuss the effects that not using a barrier can have on your relationship and your health. But, most importantly, choose to remove the barrier with someone who you’re willing to face any consequence with. Who is worth the risk?
Who would you take your bra off for?